JUVE Patent

Rankings Germany 2022

Hogan Lovells – Germany 2022

JUVE Comment

This international full-service firm’s mixed patent litigation practice is an unstoppable force at the top of the German market, and perhaps even a step ahead of the competition. Year after year, the well-oiled machine of this twelve-partner-strong patent practice handles a multitude of top-level proceedings in the life sciences and mobile communications sectors that set the standard. The team is also very visible in many other sectors. Two of the series of lawsuits with the highest stakes are litigation for Apple against Ericsson in a global battle over mobile communications licences and litigation for Oppo against Nokia. Both are among the first disputes involving 5G technology and among the most extensive patent disputes anywhere in the world.

The Hogan Lovells team is also forging ahead in the second round of disputes over connected cars patents. While it was still operating in a secondary role for suppliers in the suits brought by Avanci pool members such as Nokia against Daimler, it now finally litigates for OEMs as well, for example Ford and another European manufacturer. For Ford, however, Hogan Lovells suffered an early defeat at Munich Regional Court, which led to a quick licencing deal with the Avanci patent pool.

Nevertheless, the international patent practice also sets the benchmark in Europe. The leading role that the German partners play within the European practice is also based on their strong presence in high-stakes life-science proceedings before German courts. The German lawyers and patent attorneys litigate for many originator companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Hoffmann-La Roche and MSD over important drugs. In such (mostly cross-border) cases, the Germans work very consistently with the partners in Amsterdam, London, Milan and Paris. The move of the youngest partner Stephan Neuhaus to Allen & Overy in early 2021 has not changed this. With star lawyers Miriam Gundt and Andreas von Falck, Hogan Lovells has some top names for the life sciences sector. Moreover, Henrik Lehment and Steffen Steininger advised Flexicare/Medit and Meril Life Sciences in extensive disputes over medical products. The team is also very active when it comes to forward-looking renewable energies, with Hanwha Q-Cells, Solar Edge and Vestas featuring on the client list.

The consistent growth in the patent attorney team continued. Now 13 patent attorneys support the lawyers with broad technical expertise in many proceedings. The team is now big enough to support the lawyers in every field of technology, but the next step must be to raise their market visibility. So far, only mobile communications expertAndreas Schmid has succeeded in this respect. At the same time, Hogan Lovells broadened its lawyer team with one partner and one counsel appointment in Düsseldorf.

Strengths

Strong international client base, large European patent practice, cross-border litigation, especially related to pharmaceuticals and telecommunications, including SEPs and FRAND.

European set-up

Hogan Lovells has a truly cross-border litigation team. Between London, Düsseldorf, Munich and Amsterdam it is homogeneous, something reflected in its international presence in important pharmaceutical, mobile communications and electronics cases. The team is active across borders, for instance, for Apple, Eli Lilly, HTC and Vodafone. The team is present at all relevant potential UPC locations. In Germany, Hogan Lovells belongs to the leading teams in the market; in France, the Netherlands and the UK the firm is a fierce challenger of the market-leading firms. The practice has a smaller but also very well-established team in Milan. The firm has recently strengthened its practice in Madrid with a second partner promotion.

When it comes to building up a patent attorney practice across Europe, however, main competitor Bird & Bird is ahead; Hogan Lovells only began a few years ago to expand its patent attorney arm in Germany.

One task that remains for Hogan Lovells is to intensify its US presence, so that it can guarantee the continued flow of high-end US clients even under UPC conditions. Here Hogan Lovells is far ahead of competitors Bird & Bird and Freshfields in transatlantic work. Its US presence suffered somewhat, however, due to some departures in the life sciences sector, while competitor Allen & Overy invested heavily in its US IP practice.

Recommended individuals

Martin Fähndrich (“always advocates strongly for his clients”, competitor), Andreas von Falck (“excellent litigator”, client; “smart and always fair”, competitor), Miriam Gundt (“one of the best in life sciences”, competitor), Henrik Lehment (“doing a great job for Oppo”, competitor), Clemens Plassmann, Benjamin Schröer (“impressive litigator”, competitor), Steffen Steininger (“quick to grasp technical problems and their significance, so as to best represent his client’s interests”, competitor), Christian Stoll 

Team

35 lawyers (2 of whom are dual qualified), 13 patent attorneys

Specialties

Litigation and strategic advice to an equal extent, including licences, know-how protection, employee invention law and transactions. Specialties in the healthcare, medical technology, electronics, telecoms, engineering and auto sectors.

Clients

Litigation: Apple (defendant) against Ericsson over SEPs, including 5G and FRAND (public knowledge); Oppo (defendant) against Nokia over SEPs, including 5G and FRAND; Ford (defendant) against IP Bridge, KPN, Sisvel and MiiC over LTE patents, including FRAND (settled 2022); Vodafone, Google, LG and ZTE (all defendants) against Intellectual Ventures; LG (defendant) against Fipa; HTC (defendant) against IP Bridge (all regarding mobile communication); Xiaomi (defendant) against Semiconductor Energy Laboratory over OLEDs for mobile devices; Eli Lilly (claimant) against various generics companies over cancer drug pemetrexed, including damages suit against Zentiva; MSD (claimant) against Mylan, Ratiopharm, Stada and 1A Pharma over cholesterol-lowering drug Inegy; MSD (claimant) against generic drug companies over anti-diabetic drug sitagliptin/metformin; Meril Life Sciences (defendant) against Edwards Lifesciences over heart valves; Medit (defendant) against 3Shape over 3D scanning for dental implants; Flexicare (defendant) against Fisher & Paykel over ventilator technology; Stryker (claimant) against Metamorphosis over 3D X-ray technology; SolarEdge (claimant) against Huawei over photovoltaic patents; LG Electronics (claimant) against competitors over household appliances; Hanwha Q-Cells (claimant) against competitors over solar technology; regular litigation for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Hoffmann-La Roche, Google, Shimano, Sierra Wireless. Advice: frequently for Vestas; auto manufacturer on founding Catena-X and follow-up advice on SEPs and FRAND.

Location

Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich